|Inheritance Disputes Index 1574-1714
Inheritance Disputes Index 1574-1714
This Index to Inheritance Disputes contains over 26,000 lawsuits in the English Court of Chancery concerned with the inheritance of money or real estate. The index also covers the wills, bequests, grants of administration, descent of property, identity claims and other testamentary disputes tried in the Chancery Court in London. These cases typically involved several members of the same family so are of particular value to family historians.
Most, though by no means all, of these suits arose because the ecclesiastical courts, where wills were normally proved and grants of administration were made, had no jurisdiction over bequests of freehold property.
What do these records tell you?
The Index identifies whose estate the case is concerned with, where that person lived, the parties to the dispute, the date the case started, and The National Archives (TNA) reference(s) to the original documents. (The original documents, which are all written in English, can provide a very great deal of added and valuable information.)
The suits indexed embrace every level of society during the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries though chiefly, of course, the property-owning and mercantile classes; and cover every variety of testamentary procedure and process from nuncupative wills to grants made or withheld in the various central or regional jurisdictions.
Properties in England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, New England, the American and West Indian Plantations all figure here. Some of the disputes relating to estates in the Americas have already been abstracted.
For more information and examples see About Inheritance Disputes Index